Go-arounds at city airport increase
The number of go-arounds (flights asked to abort landing mid-air) has increased since the Mumbai air traffic control (ATC) reduced the minimum distance that two arriving flights must maintain.
According to the new rule, the ATC maintains a distance of six nautical miles between two arriving flights instead of the earlier eight nautical miles.
The average number of go-rounds in a month has increased from 15 to 21 since May when the rule was introduced, as per data obtained from the Mumbai airport operator.
Over the past three months, the airport has witnessed 69 go-arounds, with July recording the highest number of aborted landings this year.
"A go-around is a safety measure prescribed by the aviation regulator. However, if an airport witnesses frequent go-arounds the matter should be probed," said an aviation expert requesting anonymity.
The increasing number of go-arounds is a safety concern in the wake of the near-collision that happened at the Mumbai airport on August 22.
The aviation regulator has questioned the ATC's decision to reduce the distance between two aircraft.
Experts added that normally pilots opt for a go-around when they foresee an unstable landing owing to factors such as poor runway visibility.
In Mumbai, most of the go-arounds reported this year took place because another aircraft was blocking the runway.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is checking whether airlines adhere to the time limit given to them by the ATC to complete important actions like take-offs and touchdowns.
"Pilots should complete all their checks before entering the runway. After they enter the airstrip they should be prepared for take-off," said a senior DGCA official requesting anonymity.